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Nest of scorpions in Canada!

Posted by Gia Lyons on January 16, 2008

I went to Canada, and found a nest of scorpions. And they all work for IBM!

You client-facing folks will be familiar with what I affectionately call the IBM Bunker at any given customer site. It’s usually the former broom closet that’s been converted into a mess of miniscule, horizontal spaces that busloads of IBMers squeeze into on a daily basis.

Well, at this banking customer in Toronto, I was there after hours with my fellow IBMers. We got to networking, and found out that five of us were born under the Scorpio zodiac sign.

If you’ve ever met a Scorpio, or are one, you’ll understand why discovering that was tres cool. Every Scorpio I’ve ever met usually says, “And I’m pretty much like they describe a Scorpio is.”

Scary! (In a good way!)

Anyway, whenever I discover someone is more like me (left-handed, musical, Scorpio, one fake tooth in the front, etc.) I do the human thing: I like them even more. And that usually translates to helping them more, sharing with them more, listening to them more, buying them lunch, whatever.

The flip side of that, though, is sort of a halo effect. I tend to notice how we’re similar, and slide by all the great elements that make us different. It’s the differences that make collaboration richer.

There’s a wealth of research out there that addresses this “you’re like me, so I like you more” phenomenon (not to mention eons of wars fought over the opposite). One of them is Competent Jerks, Lovable Fools, and the Formation of Social Networks (requires HBR membership to access).

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my Canadian friends even more, eh?

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3 Responses to “Nest of scorpions in Canada!”

  1. Stephen said

    LMAO – welcome to the outer world, a place I don’t inhabit nearly enough. And doubly welcome for the Scorpio remark. I’m a mid-November type myself and, yes, Scorpio traits seem to fit comfortably.

  2. gialyons said

    Hi, Stephen! This makes me wonder how many Scorpios are involved in social software now. :)

  3. LOL!! And while reading this particular blog post I just cannot figure out what it is that me, as an Aquarian, always gets surrounded by Scorpions. Several members of my family are scorpions, some of my best friends are also scorpions and plenty of the colleagues / friends I hang out in various social networking tools are also scorpions. Boy, there must be something out there! I am sure!! Looks like Aquarians & Scorpions were born to be together hand in hand for a long while! hehe

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